Anna Quindlen

A New Roof On An Old House

A slate roof is a humbling thing. The one we're putting on the old farmhouse is Pennsylvania blue black, and it's meant to last at least a hundred years. Jeff the roof guy showed us the copper nails he's using to hang it; they're supposed to last just as long.

The Delirium Of Democracy

Tuesday is a neglected middle child of a day. The weekend is not in sight; the work week is neither here nor there. "Saturday night is the loneliest night of the week"; "Monday, Monday." There are no songs about Tuesday.

The Sins Of The Fathers

One thing is certain: they would never have dared do this to a mother. The sad saga of Elian Gonazalez, a small boy turned into a political soap opera by people of dueling opinions who profess his best interests, has been full of double standards.

The Reasonable Woman Standard

This may sound strange coming from a life-long feminist, but I've had it with Women's History Month. It's hard for me to believe that Betty Friedan wrote "The Feminine Mystique," protesters trashed the Miss America Pageant and countless women hazarded class-action suits so that each March fourth graders could learn fun facts about Eleanor Roosevelt.

A Bit Of Advice: Don't Go There!

Dear Hillary,Love the hair. Like the house. All the best. Think you're nuts. Not nuts to move to New York, of course, which I consider the center of the universe (although you overshot the epicenter, the corner of 57th and Fifth, where I've asked that my ashes be scattered someday).

No Privilege For Parents

The Supreme Court was preparing to extend the evidentiary doctor-patient privilege to social workers practicing psychotherapy, and Justice Antonin Scalia was, as usual, dissenting. "Ask the average citizen: would your mental health be more significantly impaired by preventing you from seeing a psychotherapist, or by preventing you from getting advice from your mom," he wrote. "I have little doubt what the answer would be.

The Inalienable Right To Whine

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I think it's time to retire the chicken. You remember the chicken. It showed up most conspicuously in the 1992 presidential campaign, when a couple of Clinton guys in a bar decided to rent a chicken suit and trail George Bush the elder around, complaining that he was afraid to debate.

The C Word In The Hallways

The saddest phrase I've read in a long time is this one: psychological autopsy. That's what the doctors call it when a kid kills himself and they go back over the plowed ground of his short life, and discover all the hidden markers that led to the rope, the blade, the gun.There's a plague on all our houses, and since it doesn't announce itself with lumps or spots or protest marches, it has gone unremarked in the quiet suburbs and busy cities where it has been laying waste.

Journalism 101: Human Nature

A funny thing happened to me on the way to this column. I endorsed a presidential candidate. For those of you who have spent months looking at the television screen over a slice of pizza and saying, "I don't care if Kevin Costner is the Reform Party candidate, I'm voting for George W.," this may not seem remarkable.